MUAR: Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have respectively won the Ledang and Pagoh division chief’s posts uncontested.
Abdul Ghani and Muhyi-ddin faced no challenges to retain their posts, but the Muar and Bakri division pro-tem committee chiefs Mohd Ismail Mohd Shah and Datuk Dr Haris Salleh faced tough fights in their respective divisions.
Besides Abdul Ghani, Ledang MP Hamim Samuri who is the division’s pro-tem vice-chairman also won the deputy chairman post uncontested as incumbent deputy chairman and former Ledang MP Hashim Ismail decided not to contest.
In Pagoh, besides Muhyiddin, the pro-tem deputy chairman Tahir Taat and pro-tem vice-chairman Samat Aripin also retained their respective posts without contest.
However, in the Muar division Mohd Ismail, who is also the Maharani assemblyman, received 76 nominations out of 138 branches, and faced businessman Jalaludin Kassim, who received 37 nominations.
Jalaludin, an unknown figure in the Muar Umno division before the party election, appeared on the political scene and managed to gain enough nominations to go against Mohd Ismail.
Jalaludin, who is the president of the Krisi Holding company, even managed to outdo Datuk Kadar Shah Tun Sulaiman with 24 nominations and former state exco member Salikon Sarpin who received only one nomination.
Both Kadar Shah and Salikon cannot contest as they failed to get the nomination quota to contest for the chairman’s post.
However, Salikon received sufficient nominations to contest for the deputy chairman’s post, but he has to face a penghulu, Ismail Tunggak, and a businessman Zawawi Mohd Zin.
In Bakri, Dr Haris, who is also the Sungai Abong assemblyman, received 57 nominations out of 107 branches and will be facing the Bukit Naning assemblyman Abdullah Ali who received 50 nominations.
Dr Haris and Abdullah, both first-time state representatives, seemed to have strong support from the branches.